Montreal Canadiens name Kent Hughes as new general manager

Click to play video: 'Habs new general manager hails from Montreal’s West Island'
Habs new general manager hails from Montreal’s West Island
Watch: The Habs have found a new general manager. After a multi-month search, the Montreal Canadiens have hired 51-year-old Kent Hughes as the 18th gm in the team’s history. Hughes is a born and raised West Islander who grew up in Beaconsfield. And as Global’s Dan Spector reports, there's a lot of excitement in his former community. – Jan 18, 2022

The Montreal Canadiens have named player agent Kent Hughes as the team’s 18th general manager.

The Canadiens said in a release Tuesday the club has agreed to a five-year deal with the 51-year-old Montreal native.

Hughes, who is bilingual, has been an agent and partner of Quebec-based firm Quartexx Management since 2016.

Before joining the Canadiens, he represented more than 20 players under NHL contracts. His past clients included Patrice Bergeron, Kristopher Letang, Anthony Beauvillier and Darnell Nurse.

Read more: Montreal Canadiens fire GM Marc Bergevin, Trevor Timmins also out

Hughes was previously affiliated with MFive Sports, which merged with Quartexx in 2016.

He replaces former GM Marc Bergevin, who was fired Nov. 28 as part of a massive shakeup following Montreal’s disastrous start to the 2021-22 season after a decade in charge.

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“We are very excited to add Kent Hughes to our organization,” Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said in a statement. “Kent is highly-respected in the hockey world, having built an excellent reputation as an NHL player agent for over 25 years now.”

Hughes joins executive vice-president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton, who was hired shortly after Bergevin’s dismissal, in Montreal’s front office.

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Call of the Wilde!

Molson previously said he envisions Gorton and Montreal’s new GM running hockey operations in complementary roles.

“The process of finding our new general manager afforded us the opportunity to meet a number of extremely qualified candidates,” Gorton said in the team’s statement. “Kent stood out, and we believe he is the right person to be the general manager of the Canadiens.

“We also believe that Kent’s experience as an agent will be a great asset to the organization.”

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Hughes grew up in Montreal’s West Island, attending Beaconsfield High School (BHS) as a teen.

His hiring is generating a lot of excitement in his old community.

“I was absolutely ecstatic,” said Richard Haffenden, who was Hughes’ secondary four history teacher at BHS. “He was a teacher’s dream because he was self-motivated, self-directed and it was very obvious that he was on a mission.”

Hughes’ former high school is planning to use his hiring as a motivator for students.

“You may not know exactly where you’re going to be one day when you’re older, but you could possibly be the next general manager of the Montreal Canadiens,” BHS teacher Adam Cox-Twardowski told Global News.

Hughes, Molson and Gorton are scheduled to meet with the media Wednesday.

Montreal made a surprising run to last season’s Stanley Cup final, but the Original Six franchise entered Tuesday night’s game in Dallas against the Stars occupying last place in the NHL’s overall standings with a record of 7-25-5.

–with files from Dan Spector, Global News

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